Thursday, June 21, 2018

Beautiful Weeds

What's the difference between a weed and a plant? It's the age-old gardening question. A lot of people say a weed is simply a plant in the wrong place, and there's something to that, I think. We allow several plants to grow in our garden that many people consider weeds.

Above, the red campion, or Maltese Cross, which is going gangbusters at the moment. It's not really a weed, but its cousin the pink campion spreads readily and grows wild -- we have quite a bit of it, too.

These are the first blooms on our comfrey, which I just planted a few weeks ago. It's a variety that doesn't self-seed, which is supposed to help contain it. I've already seen bees crawling in and out of those bell-shaped flowers.

This is Lamium album, known as white nettle. It doesn't sting like true nettles, and it can create quite an impressive patch of ground cover. I found this lying on the sidewalk, no doubt discarded from someone else's garden, and brought it home and planted it in a hanging basket -- it seems to be doing fine there.

This is self-heal, which spreads like crazy and grows all around our patio. I pull some of it up and leave some of it -- the bees love it and the purple flowers are impressive.

And finally, this is valerian, which also spreads readily. We have four plants -- both dark pink and white, as you can see -- and innumerable seedlings. A light pink variety grows around the steps to our front door, and comes up every year all on its own.

I spent all day at home yesterday, working on my many little projects. I now have all my old photos moved off CDs and onto a portable hard drive, which makes them much easier to access. I also watched "Laura," the 1944 film noir, which I hadn't seen in years -- I love those crisply shot, shadowy old black-and-white movies! Dave isn't a fan of old movies, so now is my opportunity to revisit some of them. Maybe "The Maltese Falcon" next?


  1. That red flower reminds me of my mother’s garden. I never knew the name.

  2. I love reading about how you putter around, calmly doing small projects. I wish I could do the same and am inspired by your post to perhaps try it for a day or so.

  3. You would have made a real connection with my late mother. She knew the names of every garden plant she came across and sometimes the Latin names as well. You could have talked about weeds late into the night.

  4. All those "weeds" sure are beautiful.

    It's fun to have time alone to watch movies and shows that aren't to a partner's taste. I have a pile of things in my Netflix queue that Gregg has zero interest in.

  5. I love your flowers and I love that some of them were rescues. That just charms my heart!
    I think I'm going to stay home and putter today too. I got fabric and a pattern to make Maggie a new dress and I do believe that will be my day. I'm going to stay in where it's cool and rest these old bones.

  6. Being lazy gardener, I don't like stuff that spreads and gets in with other plants.

  7. I love that you rescued a discarded plant and now it thrives. The story of life treated well. Beautiful flowers there.

  8. Valarian covers everything here, including the old graves in the churchyard, it is destroying my fromt wall slowly but surely

  9. These all seem too pretty to be called weeds. I think I've heard of valerian being used as a poison or sleep aide or something like that. Looks like you have lots of color going on right now.

  10. I think planted flowers are pretty and weed flowers are purdy. That could be the difference.

  11. I love the valerian, in fact I wrote it down for the next visit to the nursery. I love all your wild flowers. and mine. I don't know why some are considered such unless it's because they reseed naturally and spread.

  12. Pretty pretty! You know I love me some flowers of all varieties.

    I wish I was a putterer. I tend to plant myself in my chair when I get home & there I stay until bedtime.

  13. I'm enjoying the pictures. I do wonder why some of these are called weeds.

  14. The Maltese Cross is gorgeous.

  15. 37P: It goes by several names, actually. Red campion is another. I'd never seen it before coming to England, but it reminds me a little of the ixora we grew in Florida.

    Elizabeth: It's funny, because the puttering isn't really something I consciously do. I just always have things to keep me busy! I guess I should be thankful for that.

    YP: I had a babysitter like that when I was a little boy. She taught me a lot about plants and I'm sure that's where I first developed an interest in gardening.

    Jennifer: Yeah, I'm having a great time catching up on some things that Dave wouldn't want to see!

    Ms Moon: In the summer in Florida, resting the bones is wise!

    Red: I think the secret is just not minding. Let things spread, within reason. What's the harm?

    Robin: I'm big on rescuing plants, as I've written from time to time. We have a lot of things in the garden that I've found here and there, and rehabilitated!

    John: Yeah, it can definitely take root in some undesirable places.

    Sharon: Really? Maybe I should chew some and see what happens! NOT

    Catalyst: Yes! These are the "purdy" parts of my garden. :)

    Ellen: I don't know how valerian grows in the South. Maybe it's too hot down there. But check it out, and be aware that it DOES spread.

    Bug: I have trouble sitting still for long. I think I exasperate Dave because I'm always pausing our TV show to do the dishes or hang the laundry or fill the bird feeder or do some other little task that springs to mind at that moment.

    Colette: Like beauty, a weed is in the eye of the beholder!

    Jenny-O: Isn't it? It's one of my favorite garden flowers.